John Meyler expects to be able to call on the services of Alan Cadogan and Bill Cooper for what he admits is already a must-win game against Limerick on Sunday.

The reigning Munster champions were well beaten at home to Tipperary last weekend, and a second defeat  at the Gaelic Grounds (live on RTÉ2, 4pm) would leave them needing to beat Clare and Waterford while hoping other results go their way to have any hope of making the knockout stages.

"It's a huge game after last week's performance against Tipperary," Meyler told RTÉ Sport. 

"We have to win. The margins are so tight, you cannot afford to lose two games.

"Limerick, after winning the League and the All-Ireland, will be bouncing and it'll be a massive competitive game.

"They didn't have a game in the first round of the Munster Championship so they'll be looking to stamp their mark."

"It's a test of everything: character, skill and attitude. If you want to perform, you have to perform at the highest level now on Sunday."

Alan Cadogan could feature this weekend

Meyler has been boosted by the fact that both midfielder Cooper, who was a late withdrawal before Tipp, and Cadogan trained this week.

Corner-forward Cadogan, who missed out on all of last year's Championship with a knee injury after winning an All-Star nomination in 2017, featured in the Allianz Hurling League before pulling a quad muscle against Tipperary in March.

"Both of them trained (on Tuesday) so we're hopeful they will be back," said Meyler.

"Bill had a back spasm just before the game. He was a massive loss to us in terms of leadership on the field.

"Hopefully we'll have Alan back. He was going really well where he played the last couple of years.

"It's important to have the two of those back, they're leaders on the team."

Reflecting on last weekend's defeat, Meyler said his team's efforts had not matched those of their opponents.

"Work-rate wasn't up to the required level," he said.

"We got back into the game towards the end of the first half. We needed to settle down at half-time but Tipperary got that goal at the start of the second half, which gave them an impetus to keep going.

"We got it back again but Tipperary were more fluent, better organised around the field than we were.

"We need to improve on that for Sunday."

Follow all the hurling action this weekend via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, listen to live national commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 and watch live and exclusive TV coverage of the Munster SHC on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player this Sunday.